Zags Hit Qualifying Times in Final Meet of Regular Season

May 12, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Gonzaga's Brandon Pollard became the fifth Zag to qualify for the NCAA West Preliminary after running the second-fastest 1,500-meter time in program history at the Portland Twilight Saturday.

Pollard crossed the line in second place with a time of 3:44.63. He rose from fourth on the GU all-time list to second. His previous personal record was 3:46.34 run at this season's Bryan Clay Invitational. The junior's new personal record currently ranks 41st in the region.

Also in the 1,500 meters, Scott Kopczynski placed third at 3:46.01. He climbed from sixth on the program's all-time list to fourth. His time ranks 65th in the region. Mason Villarma's 3:45.91 finish at the Oregon Twilight ranks 61st.

Troy Fraley ran the 27th-fastest 3,000-meter steeplechase time in the region. He placed second Saturday at 8:54.56. Alex Heffelfinger was fifth with a time of 8:59.74.

"Beautiful steeplechasing by the Zags," Director of Gonzaga Track and Field Pat Tyson said. "Troy aced his assignment! He lowered his NCAA West qualifying mark and had very little foot pain. Remember, this kid is running on pure guts and adrenaline. He has had no speed work or hurdle work in the last 12 weeks, primarily cross training. Alex ran another sub-nine-minute."

Jordan Thurston was the top women's finisher in the 10,000 meters with a time of 34:48.51. Her time is currently 45th in the region. The redshirt senior also moved up the GU all-time list to third.

"Jordan capped off the night with a terrific run," Bulldogs' women's Head Coach Patty Ley said. "She ran with Kate Landau of Tacoma for the first 3.5 then took off on her own. She ground out the laps dropping pace a little in the last 2k, but fighting hard and kicking even harder for a big PR. We will be waiting out the selection process this week, but she did everything she could to put herself in the best possible position to get to regionals. Definitely her best race as a Zag!"

In the men's 10,000-meter field, Peter Hogan was third with a time of 30:40.42, while Phillip Fishburn (31:39.77) and Hunter Simpson (31:50.25) were seventh and ninth.

Aimee Piercy improved her own No. 3 mark in program history in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase. She placed 10th at 11:23.09. In the women's 200 meters, Brianna Vasquez improved her No. 3 mark on the GU all-time list. She was eighth at 27.10. The junior was ninth in the 400 meters with a time of 1:01.43, which ranks eighth in program history.

Molly Foster opened the meet for the Zags with a seventh-place finish in the women's 400-meter hurdles with a season-best time of 1:10.19.

Kellen Manley owns the 17th-fastest 3,000-meter steeplechase time in the region, while Sammy Truax and Heffelfinger are 35th and 43rd. For each individual event contested at each of the Preliminary Round sites, the top 48 declared student-athletes will be accepted into the competition. The complete field of participants for the NCAA West Preliminaries will be released this coming week.

The NCAA West Preliminary will run from May 24-26, in Sacramento, Calif. Live video and results will be available on



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